tv CNN Newsroom CNN January 10, 2010 1:00am-2:00am EST
>> larry: and jillian michaels and danny cahill and the coles family. and don't forget carnie's show "unstapled." it premieres on gsn january 14th. looking forward to that. looking forward to that. >> thank you. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com i'm randi kaye. breaking news in northern california tonight. a strong quake measuring 6.5. no serious injuries or damage have been reported, but plenty of jangled nerves. it was centered about 20 miles off the coast. the u.s. geological survey says there is no threat of a tsunami. the coastal cities of ferndale and eureka felt it the most. residents say it was a rolling event that knocked down pictures and caused some cracks in their walls. local emergency officials say most of the damage appears to be downed power lines and some broken gas pipes and some windows broken as well. smaller aftershocks have also been detected. gary byrd is the public information officer of the eureka fire department. they've been handling all of
these emergency calls. a very busy night for you, gary, i would imagine, as you join us by phone now. >> yeah, hi. how are you doing, randi? >> good. how are you doing there? >> oh, we're doing fine. i think we've come through this quite well. but like you mentioned, we do have some frayed nerves. but the damage seems to have been limited to broken windows, some downed power lines something, isolated water line breaks, and just minor injuries at this point. but we are bracing for aftershocks. we've had a number of them so far. and we have experienced very significant aftershocks from previous earthquakes. so we're cautiously optimistic at this point. >> i'm sure. i'm sure also, though, that a lot of our viewers who might have relatives in california who maybe can't reach them because of this earthquake may be worried about them. so no serious injuries, you're saying, for sure as far as you know? >> that's correct. but we do have -- and life safety is our number one priority at this point. but we do have quite a few fire, police, and public works crews
out assessing damage at this time. and so far no reports of any serious injuries to pass on. >> have you had to evacuate any areas? or what are you advising residents? >> i believe we're advising residents to stay in their homes, to try to stay off the roads because traffic signals, a lot of those are down and there is a lot of congestion on the roads at this point. >> and also a lot of power lines down as well, which i'm sure you're concerned about if residents are out and about. >> that's correct. but just sporadic reports of power lines down. >> and when we describe this as, from residents at least, as a rolling event, can you tell us a little bit more about what that means there in northern california? >> i'm sorry. i didn't quite hear everything you said there. somehow you got cut off. >> residents we've spoken with describe this as more of a rolling event, a rolling earthquake. can you help us a little bit explain what that means? >> well, a rolling earthquake is -- i'm not really an expert on this. but i believe that's indicative
of a quake that is somewhat far away. but this earthquake was not too far away, and i believe it was somewhat shallow. but it was a violent shake when it occurred, and it lasted for a minute perhaps and after that it rolled through. but it was a violent shake before the rolling. >> well, i'm sure, gary, you have a busy night at the firehouse at the fire department. gary bird joining us with some details. thank you very much. >> thanks for checking in. >> and dave magni, he runs a small hotel in ferndale, california. he's joining us by phone. dave, can you tell us what tonight has been like for you there? >> oh, just a lot of cleanup. quite a mess. >> tell me a little bit about some of the damage at the hotel. you're the owner of the ivanhoe hotel? >> yeah. we're primary liu a restaurant dinner house with a full bar and a very small historic inn. so most of our damage was at the bar, the back bar, bottles,
glasses, plates. depends what room you're in to how much damage was done. just a lot of breakage. >> tell me about the situation at the bar. was the bar crowded at the time? >> well, it was about 4:30. so we're a night dinner house. so we were just getting open. so we just had three people at the bar. they didn't waste too much time getting outside. our bartender fled the scene and had a broken window come down on him on his way out, but he wasn't hurt. >> i think you described for one of our producers you spoke with earlier by phone as quote "we're sitting in a sea of booze." is that true? does that mean all your liquor bottles have fallen off the bar? >> the whole back bar came boun. and yea it's all cleaned up now. just a little aftermath of smell. >> how about your guests? did they run out of the place or are they still with you? >> one checked out. they were here for a local funeral. they don't live too far away. they checked out. so we don't have to worry about them. another set of guests just checked back in.
everybody is really just kind of sitting and feeling the aftermath, letting the heart rate slow down. >> i'm sure. all right, dave, we're going to let you get back to mopping up that sea of booze in your bar there. dave magni from ferndale, california with us tonight. thanks, dave. and jacqui jeras of course is in the weather center. she has some more information about this quake and what it all means. jacqui? >> well, this is a pretty strong quake. in fact, it's considered what you would call strong as opposed to a major quake. and had this actually happened on the coast or inland, we would have seen a fair amount of damage across this area. 6.5 in magnitude. as we mentioned. and this was offshore. sometimes when you have offshore earthquakes you can get tsunamis. but no tsunami resulted. and there were no tsunami watches or warnings. now, at least five aftershocks have occurred here, all of which were pretty minor. 4.5 was the strongest one that we had, and there haven't been any reports that anybody actually felt this. there you can see the town of ferndale, where some of those power outages had happened.
6.5, you know, we get earthquakes of this intensity maybe about 120 of them across the world in a calendar year. so they are not very common. and we've had plenty of 6-plus earthquakes in california and really a big reminder that that big one could really occur anytime. in fact, many experts, the usgs says we're kind of overdue for getting one of these. so what do you do in an earthquake when this happens? well, if you're indoors already, you need to just get down and cover up and try to get underneath something which is safe. you know, right now we think the worst of the threat has passed and the aftershocks should be small enough that we think you don't have to worry about it too much anymore tonight. of course, we'll continue to be on top of this and let you know if we get any more powerful things happening within this area. randi? >> all right, jacqui, thank you for following up on that for us. and one of the most powerful men in the nation's capitol has a lot of explaining to do. senate majority leader harry reid is apologizing to the president and everyone in america. we'll tell you why. and a winter tragedy in
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he is one of the most powerful men in washington. and just weeks ago he successfully navigated president obama's signature legislation through the senate. but majority leader harry reid spent his saturday apologizing to the president and all americans for comments he made about mr. obama during the 2008 presidential campaign. we're learning more about the quotes, which appear in a new book on the 2008 campaign called "game change." reid is quoted as saying then senator obama had a good chance of winning the white house because i was "light-skinned." and his speech p had what reid described as no negro dialect unless he wanted to have one. the damage control operation in high gear now. in today's statement reid says, "i deeply regret using such a poor choice of words. i sincerely apologize for offending any and all americans, especially african americans for my improper comments." i'm joined on the phone by our senior congressional correspondent dana bash.
dana, the senator has had a day of apologies. who really is he trying to make nice with tonight? >> reporter: who isn't he trying to make nice with tonight? i think that's the question. you say this is damage control. boy, i have not seen a damage control strategy, what we saw today, in a very long time. and they're very unabashed about what they're doing inside the reid camp, randi. not only did senator reid obviously call the president, as you mentioned, and make it very public that the president quickly accepted his apology, he has been on the phone virtually all day with civil rights leaders that we have all heard about. reverend al sharpton he's called. julian bond. representative clyburn of south carolina, who is the highest-ranking african-american democrat in congress. representative barbara lee. wade henderson. and donna brazile, even. she's one of our contributors. she'll be on "state of the union" tomorrow. perhaps we'll get the inside scoop on these calls. but not only is he making calls, i just got an e-mail from
somebody showing me that a local politician in nevada, a prominent african-american, steve horaceford, who's actually the senate majority leader in nevada, also is saying that he understands this is not great, this is not the right choice of words for reid, but he accepts his apology. and the reason why he says he accepts senator reid's apology and many of these african-american leaders are saying the same is because they say that he does have a good record when it comes to civil rights historically despite what everybody agrees is a very bad choice of words and a very bad situation for senator reed politic politically. >> how much trouble would you say harry reid is in as leader of the senate? how much hot water does this put him in with fellow senators and fellow democrats? >> reporter: judging by the immediate reaction, which sometimes it's very difficult to do with these political hot potatoes, it looks like at least for now in terms of his position as the top democrat in the senate it looks like he's okay. the biggest problem for senator
reid, handrandi-s his own viabi just as a senator. he's already in a very, very tough battle this election year, 2010 to keep his seat. and just today a new poll in his home state of nevada came out showing he's pretty much not well liked. his favorability ratings, meaning how much people like him, are very low. unfavorability, 52%. that's the highest in about a year. and the problem for him back home is that people know him very well. so they know him, and the majority don't like him. and he trails three potential republican candidates. so the biggest problem for him is that he's already been fighting for his political life to win his seat again in the senate and this is just another, in the words of one of his supporters, i just got an e-mail, one of his supporters, just another straw to break the camel's back. >> dana, stay with us. we may come back to you in a moment here. but president obama was quick to respond to senator reid's apology, we want you to know. the white house issued this statement on the president's behalf.
"harry reid called me today and apologized for an unfortunate comment reported today." this is quoting here. "i accepted harry's apology without question because i've known him for years. i've seen the passionate leadership he's shown on issues of social justice. and i know what's in his heart. as far as i'm concerned, the book is closed." that statement coming directly from the president. our senior white house correspondent ed henry joins me now by phone from new york. ed, this statement coming from the president himself, does this elevate the story in your mind? >> reporter: well, randi, it does. and it's rare for the president to jump into the fray on almost any issue that quickly. i mean, he put out this statement within a few hours of this controversy coming up. and look no further than what happened two weeks ago when we were in hawaii with the president and there was this terror incident and the president didn't speak on it for a few days. and white house aides at the time were saying, well, look, the president doesn't need to jump out there on every single issue, he's perfectly content to have his aides go out there, top officials like the homeland security secretary. and in this case he could have done the same. he could have had robert gibbs or another senior aide go out
there and say the apology's accepted. but i think when i talked to senior democrats today what they say the reasoning is is that the white house was working very closely with senator reid's office to try to quell this controversy quickly. and as one top democrat told me, look, when trent lott was in a similar situation back in 2002 he kind of let this play out too long and he didn't quell it. he didn't cut it off. and they thought by getting the president involved so quickly, obviously as the first african-american president saying look, i don't take any offense and i know what's in harry reid's heart, they think they can end it. part of the reason they want to move quickly as well is, as dana was laying out, i mean, harry reid is sort of the mvp for barack obama right now in terms of trying to push health care through. they need him there. then when you look at the senate picture, the re-election dana was talking about and how much trouble harry reid already is in, you add that to chris dodd this week saying he's going to retire, and byron dorgan, another democrat, you know, democrats barely have a 60-seat majority right now and are barely getting health care and
other things through. if someone like harry reid loses re-election at the end of this year, obviously kiss the 60-seat majority good-bye. and getting the president's agenda through in the days ahead is going to be that much harder. >> how would you say this is going to affect that? how tough of a job does he have in his ability to push the obama agenda? >> reporter: i think people obviously close to senator reid and people at the white house are hoping this will be over after a few days of back and for forth. i think you saw in the statement from reverend al sharpton jumping into the fray as well he was basically saying that democrats hope this does not become a distraction from the health care battle that you've got focus on health care and the economy, issues that really matter to americans. i think the fact that al sharpton even invoked that shows there's a real nervousness among senior democrats right now about the fact that any sort of distraction at this moment just as they're trying to push health care through this final stage on the eve of the state of the union from the president in the next couple of weeks shows that they're very concerned right now
and there's no doubt about that. >> all right. our ed henry and dana bash, thank you both so much for your time. for most people this boils down to one of two things -- racism or just a very poor choice of words. syracuse university professor boyce watkins is a social commentator and advocate for education and economic empowerment. professor, you have some very strong opinions about senator reid's comments. let's begin with the fact that you say you see racism in the senator's words. >> i see racism in his words, but i don't see racism in harry reid. we have to realize that he's a representative, he's a bellwether of public opinion. he wasn't saying that i wouldn't support barack obama if he were dark-skinned. he was saying america would not support barack obama if he were dark-skinned. i don't think that harry reid should be the focal point of this. as was mentioned earlier, he's got more important things to do. he needs to go out and fight for health care. so does the presidential. i think this issue needs to be taken off the president's desk. and near the birthday of dr.
martin luther king, maybe this is an opportunity for us to have a conversation nationally about race and to really talk about why is it that there are millions of rank-and-file african-americans out here every day who know that lighter-skinned and not having negro dialect, whatever that means, it does affect your ability to get jobs, it affects how people perceive you. and so we are -- >> so are you saying that lighter-skinned african-americans do -- they are treated differently? >> well, that's been true since slavery. anybody who understands anything about black history knows that lighter skin is always an asset. basically, it comes down to your degree of whiteness or not being too black. you notice the president was very careful all throughout the election not to be perceived as being too black. so harry reid's statement, which does not in my opinion reflect what's in his heart, it reflects what's in america's heart. it reflects the fact that we still live in a society where being too black or speaking too black, it will take away certain opportunities.
and we have to realize that when we judge people on such superficial characteristics we're missing the opportunity to make america the country that it's capable of being because we're overlooking people because of how they communicate. >> when you heard that he used the words, that senator reid used the words "negro dialect," and i'm quoting there, how did that sit with you? >> well, it was a little bit odd. remember, harry reid is not a young man. you know, what's interesting is that i have a lot of respect for harry reid. i read his life story. and this guy, he represents the american dream. he represents what a lot of -- i speak to millions of black males across the country, and he represents what we go through in terms of fighting to get what we deserve. and i think harry reid is a great man. i have a lot of respect for him. what i will say is that his comment obviously is not appropriate, but it's certainly accurate. we know that speaking a certain way would have kept president obama from being re-elected. so we have to ask ourselves, are we really judging this person by the content of his character and his capability set or are we judging him on superficial traits such as what he looks like? because we know what harry reid
said is true. now as a country what are we going to do with that information? well, black history month's coming up. so maybe it's a good opportunity to explore that. >> the president has released a statement tonight saying he wants to close the book on this. do you think the president should do more? should there be another national conversation on race? >> yes. i think that we need to have that conversation. whether the president wants to do it or not, we have to understand, the president probably doesn't want to have that conversation. he can't have that conversation. but dr. king would have that conversation. and so -- but remember, martin luther king and barack obama are not the same sort of leader. i think that it's up to us as the american people. i think it's up to black leadership. it's up to leadership in other communities to really come together and have an honest, hardcore dialogue to get these ugly issues out on the table so we can really address them. because if we sweep them under the rug it's going to continue to plague us like a festering disease that it already is. >> dr. boyce watkins, good to speak with you tonight. >> thank you. did the senate majority leader stomp on his re-election
chances by putting his foot in his mouth? hear what the gop challengers for his seat have to say about harry reid's choice of words. then, no day at the beach in florida. is that snow we're looking at? how people in the sunshine state are working hard just to stay warm. host: could switching to geico really save you 15% or more on car insurance? host: did the waltons take way too long to say goodnight? mom: g'night john boy. g'night mary ellen. mary ellen: g'night mama. g'night erin. elizabeth: g'night john boy. jim bob: g'night grandpa. elizabeth: g'night ben. m bob:'night. elizabeth: g'night jim bob. jim bob: g'night everybody,
a winter weather nightmare in suburban atlanta when thin ice gives way beneath some teen boys. two of the teens are dead, a third hospitalized right now after falling into the partially frozen pond this afternoon. the boys, between the ages of 13 and 15, were reportedly playing on the ice when suddenly they plunged into the water. firefighters say one boy got out quickly but he stayed on the ice trying to save his friends. >> when we arrived on the scene,
we did in fact have the one teenager who was out on the ice but was trying to reach the other two who were still under the ice in the water. firefighters were able to get him to come over to the bank by giving the exact location of where he believed them to have gone in at our team deployed into the water and were successful in locating them. >> but by the time rescue crews found the two boys, they had been trapped for nearly an hour, unconscious and unresponsive. they were rushed to a hospital, but they later died. the third boy is hospitalized in fair condition. in vermont three snowmobiles crashed through thin ice killing three people -- a man, his 24-year-old daughter, and his 3-year-old granddaughter. the snowmobiles were carrying a total of six people on lake dunmore when the ice gave way just before noon. they were about 100 yards from shore when it happened. everyone went into the water, except for a 4-year-old child, who was pushed to safety. he reportedly ran for help. two of the five people pulled out from the frigid lake survived. jacqui jeras is watching the weather for us in the weather
center. jacqui, you and i, having lived in minnesota for quite some time, we're unfortunately very used to seeing these stories where the lakes are frozen and people think it's frozen enough but bottom line is it's just not safe. >> yeah. there's never a guarantee that the ice is going to be thick enough, and even if it's thick enough that it's going to be stable enough. there are some guidelines, speaking of minnesota, from the minnesota dnr. this is on their website. just to give you an idea. the general rules are in order to be able to stand or walk on ice you need about four inches thick. and it should be clear thick ice. you should almost be able to see through it. for a snowmobile there you can see about five inches or so. for a car 8 to 12 inches. and that's a small car. and then for medium sized truck more than a foot of ice is needed. an suv, you're going to need a little bit more than that. one of the other things is thin and crispy way too risky, clear and blue you're going to be okay going through. something to think about. and i can't imagine ice in georgia, by the way, ever being thick enough to hold somebody. and you know, we start having
fun in these conditions, it gets exciting in the south when you've got sleet and snow and ice. but you still have to be careful because it can be very, very dangerous. more than 10 fate always, at least across the nation, being reported due to the cold conditions. all right. check out what we're doing here across parts of the south. the wind chill, the temperatures dropping down below the freezing mark. we still have some moisture across southern parts of florida right now. and we've been seeing a little bit of sleet in the kendall area, a suburb of miami. we're going to expect this moisture to pull on out. we're concerned about icy conditions. we could be seeing some records in south florida. these people don't have the proper means to dress properly or drive safely really in these conditions. stay home if you can. check on your neighbors. there you can see some of the sleet in the orlando area. the good news is we're expecting temperatures to moderate here in the midwest tomorrow, the southeast will start to warm up early next week, but randi, the southeast will really not see temperatures be near normal or above normal until mid to late next week. >> oh, boy.
still got some time left to freeze. >> all right. >> jacqui, thanks. snow in florida? it seems no place is safe from this brutal cold spell that has teeth chattering nationwide. but in a state known for its sunshine, freezing temperatures have people scrambling to stay safe and warm. martin savidge shows us how floridians are coping. >> reporter: in south florida the arctic blast fell as a raw rain, forcing a new kind of beach attire. in orlando runners in this half marathon ran partly for sport and partly just to stay warm. >> you need to earn it a little more. it makes you feel prouder about finishing. so i mean there's nothing you can really do. >> reporter: in hollywood, florida the entire borden family, including little roxie, shivered waiting for the repair man. their furnace went out a long time ago. but that didn't matter, until this week. >> i tried it two years ago when i had a real cold day. i tried it, and it just kept blowing cold air. never stopped. >> reporter: fortunately, the repairman showed up minutes
later. for rafael lamboi it's been days of long hours and frantic phone calls from homeowners. how do they react when you drive in? >> very happy to see me and very happy when i leave because they've got heat. >> reporter: space heaters have been flying off the sxheflz that will put a further strain on the state's electric grid which set a new winter record only tuesday that's likely to be broken tonight. but while some businesses benefit, others are threatened. it will be another nervous night for the state's huge citrus industry, which so far has been spared the worst. other growers rushed to protect their plants. even their tropical fish housed in outdoor pools. when usually re talked to chuck lanza, it's about hurricanes. now he worries broward county may be totally unprepared for a different kind of weather threat. ice. >> we don't have the ability to de-ice and do any of that stuff. we have some real problems here if we had any type of heavy ice or even if we had the unfortunate circumstance of having snow. >> so even sleet or a freezing rain could be an emergency situation?
>> certainly could be significant. way down the wires we could lose a lot of our power and our ability to communicate with 911. it would be a difficult situation for us for at least several days. >> reporter: meanwhile, dade county barbara and richard sanchez have their own way of coping with the cold. just throw another log on the fire. something henry ladue will be only too happy to sell you. for about $150 a pickup truck load. >> what kind of calls do you get? >> desperation calls mostly. how much? when? how long? can i come get it? >> reporter: these days in south florida the business of wood is good. >> marty savidge for us tonight. a suicide bomber vows revenge in a newly released video. unfortunately, the cia thought he was one of theirs. and the mistake cost them dearly. and later, is the proper way to fight heroin to publish a pamphlet on how to use it? the strategy is causing a lot of controversy. and it was paid for by new york city taxpayers.
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senate majority leader harry reid is apologizing for comments he made during the 2008 presidential campaign. a new book called "game change" quotes reid as saying then senator barack obama could win the white house because he was "light-skinned" and had no "negro dialect" unless he wanted to have one. president obama said he accepts reid as poll ji. cnn's dana bash reports senator reid is reaching out tonight to civil rights leaders and african-american members of congress including julian bond and representatives jim clyburn and barbara lee. in a federal court in new york today a not guilty plea from a suspected collaborator in an alleged terror plot last december. 25-year-old adis medumjanin is an immigrant accused of getting training from al qaeda. he's also an associate of najibullah zazi who's charged with plotting an attack in new york that would have coincided with the eighth anniversary of 9/11. zazi has pleaded not guilty in
that case. fresh confirmation tonight that the suicide bomber who killed seven cia officers in afghanistan was really an agent of the pakistan taliban. a chilling new video shows the man the cia thought they could trust revealing his true loyalties. here's cnn's senior international correspondent nic robertson. >> reporter: speaking in arabic and english, jordanian doctor humam kahlil abu mulal al balawi leaves no doubt he duped both the cia and his jordanian intelligence handlers. >> the jordanian and the american intelligence services offered me millions of dollars to work with them and spy on moujahedeen here. >> reporter: while we can't confirm those claims, this much is clear. he told the jordanians he was going to pakistan for medical training and could help them target al qaeda leaders. but all along his plan was to attack u.s. targets. >> i came to the moujahedeen, and i told them everything, and
we arranged together this attack. >> reporter: for this veteran of middle east security it is clear. warning signs of a double cross were missed. >> better be alarming experience. i mean, nothing teaches you harder than the spilling of blood. >> reporter: the cia deaths, he fears, mean all spies will need reevaluation, setting back the cia hunt for osama bin laden. >> it will set them back until they reform, regroup, and start again. >> reporter: the video message has other important lessons, too. the arab doctor who had joined pakistan's taliban claims his attack in revenge for u.s. drone strike killing their leader last year. significant. the taliban, not al qaeda took the lead. an indication of how closely the two groups operate together. >> of course it's worrying because the nature of the middle
east, they never go away. they mutate. they spill over. we haven't seen taliban in yemen. but who knows? >> reporter: the drkt humam al balawi's father, the video the final confirmation of his worst fears. his son is dead. >> i am very, very sad. when i saw humam, i am very, very sad. >> reporter: his other sons taking him inside the house, away from the cameras. but not before he speaks of his ang anger, implying the intelligence agencies were at fault. what his father has also said is that he's angry at the people that did this to his son, that changed his son's mind. he won't say exactly who he thinks those people are. but he says this isn't the way he brought his son up. he brought him up to be a moderate. what this new video reveals is
anything but a moderate. nic robertson, cnn, amman, jordan. senate leader harry reid's words come back to haunt him. why he's scrambling to apologize for comments he made about president obama. plus, paying the price to report on the weather. a demonstrates the dangers of 100-mile-per-hour winds. you gee any car in the aisle. choose any car? you cannot be serious! okay. seriously, you choose. go national. go like a pro. and it's all right here. of different stuff from her. seriously, you choose. everything sent to you organized by the person who sent it. the droid eris. the droid that's as connected as you. exclusively at verizon wireless.
as we've been reporting tonight, senate majority leader harry reid is apologizing for saying privately during the 2008 campaign that then senator barack obama could win the white house because he was "light-skinned" and had "no negro dialect unless he wanted to have one." president obama says he accepts reid's apology, but two republicans hoping to challenge harry reid this fall are having a field day with reid's comments. nevada republican party chairwoman and senate candidate sue loudon says reid's remarks
are part of a larger problem. >> it's a pattern of bad judgment remarks that senator reid has made over the years, including the war is lost when our sons and daughters were over in iraq fighting the war. including saying if you don't like the health care bill then you must be a proponent of slavery. these are a series of remarks that the senator has made not just one or two times but many times. and it's just bad judgment on his part. >> nevada businessman danny tarkanian is also a republican senate hopeful and he too is blasting senator reid. in a news release tarkanian says reid "disgraces himself monthly." in his words, harry reid isn't just america's most vulnerable senator, as he demonstrates daily, he's also its most embarrassing. that is a direct quote. so there you have it. even though president obama wants to "close the book" on senator reid's comments, some are just starting to dig in, especially in nevada. blake mccoy is a reporter for our las vegas affiliate ktnv.
blake, tell me, how is this playing there? >> yeah. obviously, reid is in a very tight re-election bid coming up here this november and any remarks, any gaffes like this certainly don't help his re-election campaign. but what we were talking to, we talked to the former chair of the nevada democratic party today, and he said he doesn't see this going beyond just a minor blip on reid's radar, going into the election, because reid does have such a strong record on civil rights here in the state of nevada and in the country. so while the republican opponents of reid obviously are, as you said, having a field day with this and are criticizing reid's comments, you'll notice none of them are going far enough to say that reid is a racist. that's why top democrats in the state really don't think they're going to have a problem with this. they're calling it just kind of a misspeak and not something that will follow reid into the campaign this november. >> certainly, though, this seems to be the last thing that harry reid needs with his -- a new poll out today, and he's at 40%? >> yeah. it's not been a good week for
harry reid certainly, and earlier this week he was wrapped in a kind of bitter debate with our own governor, who said that if harry reid's health care bill goes forward that the state of nevada will sue the federal government over the health care issue. and then we have this coming this weekend. so this has really put harry reid on the defensive, which is obviously not a place he wants to be going into an election. >> all right. blake mccoy from our las vegas affiliate tonight. thank you so much, blake. >> yep. a financial lifeline severed for some maryland families. why the cost of caring for this toddler is suddenly soaring, all because of state budget cuts. and a manatee group hug? well, not quite. but we'll tell you why these florida creatures are finding strength in numbers. bet you guys are, too. how about some hamburger helper? cheeseburger mac... how 'bout some after the show? hamburger helper. one pound. one pan. one tasty meal. my nose and right around here. (announcer) want to give afrin a try? yeah. it cleared up right away.
hard times, tough choices. critical services are being cut in maryland. and the ripple effects will be devastating. here's cnn's kate bolduan. >> mommy found toys. >> reporter: 4-year-old carson brewster has a rare chromosomal disorder. her mother, michelle, left a contracting job four years ago to care for carson full-time. >> she can't care for herself. you know, we've got to change her clothes. she gets food -- fed through a tube. she's got over 22 doctors. so -- >> 22 doctors. >> yeah. >> reporter: with $13,000 in out-of-pocket medical expenses last year alone, brewster says supplemental funds from the state of maryland have been essential to her family's financial survival for years. but the economy has struck even this vulnerable segment of the population. faced with a $700 million shortfall, maryland cut narly $30 million from the state's developmental disabilities administration.
>> it's okay. >> reporter: for the brewsters, that means painful decisions. the extra help for things like diapers, medication, and physical therapy dropped from $2,500 to just $300. >> what does that really mean for you guys? >> a struggle. a struggle to figure out how we're going to help our -- you know, how to help our daughter and make sure that we have the moneys to make sure our other children get too. mom and tad sand dad -- me and d we can wait, but our kids can't. and that's howwhat it's all about. >> reporter: advocates for the developmentally disabled launched a statewide campaign, holding town halls to fight the budget cut. >> i don't think people realize how this can just totally devastate your family. >> reporter: state officials say they understand, especially in this sluggish economy, every cut hurts someone. but they defend the governor's budget decision. >> he was able to protect services for people with disabilities throughout most of the budget-cutting rounds. but the choices are getting much
more difficult to make. it's not easy anymore. >> reporter: and not easy for states across the country. a recent report by the pew center says states' budget troubles are having far-reaching impact on residents. >> as the states face increasingly severe budget troubles, the public is definitely going to feel it. they'll pay more taxes. they'll pay higher fees. >> reporter: with a $2 billion budget shortfall projected in maryland for 2011, brewster says she has no idea what's in store for her family's financial future. she only hopes more cuts aren't on the horizon for her daughter and so many others. >> they didn't ask to be disabled. we're not asking for a handout. we're just asking for a little bit of help. that's it. >> reporter: kate bolduan, cnn, frederick county, maryland. this is not nancy reagan's anti-drug message. far from it, in fact. we'll uncover what's in the heroin pamphlet.
take care: 10 tips for safer use." a virtual heroin how-to guide, complete with illustrations and detailed tips. warm your body, jump and down, to show your veins. don't always inject in the same spot. and don't dig for veins. if you don't register, pull out and try again. >> jump up and down to show your veins. find the vein before you try into inject it. where's the health concern there? if you missed the vein you might get a bruise? that's an egregious misuse of taxpayer money. >> reporter: the brainchild of new york city's health department. 70,000 flyers paid for with 32,000 taxpayer dollars. >> i think it sends out the message and the wrong message, that heroin use can be safe. heroin use cannot be safe. heroin use can be deadly. >> reporter: that's exactly why new york's health department says these tips are crucial. accidental overdose is the fourth leading cause of death in new york city, claiming nearly
600 lives a year. another big issue -- hiv and aids. 1/3 of americans living with hiv are infected through injection drug use. one reason why the health department also encourages users not to share needles but adds there's no healthy use of drugs, just helpful information. >> the messages are clear. it's about getting help to stop using drugs. it's about preventing overdose. it's about preventing hiv infection and hepatitis infection. that's the context. >> it was about eight years ago. >> reporter: information that could have helped this 35-year-old heroin user. we'll call him john. he shoots up several times a week. 2 1/2 years ago john was diagnosed with hepatitis c. >> most people that are going to use it, they're going to find a way to use regardless. i think somebody if somebody has the right information so you can do it the right way. >> reporter: the health department says the $32,000 they spent on the flyers is actually
a drop in the bucket when you consider how much money is saved by preventing infections. over a lifetime treatments can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per person. health department says not teaching people how to shoot up safely is turning your back on reality, meaning you can try to tell someone to stop using drugs but unless they're ready they won't, and in the meantime the health department says this pamphlet is saving lives. alina cho, cnn, new york. cold weather in the deep south is creating some unusual sights. along one florida canal a herd of manatees have been huddling together just to stay warm. but they can't stay much longer.
about 100 manatees have snuggled up in this florida canal. earlier i spoke with carly sagelson from the florida fish and wildlife commission, who explained why they're finding strength in numbers. >> exposure to water temperatures lower than 68 degrees for long periods of time can lead to a condition called manatee cold stress syndrome. and that can eventually lead to death. so manatees will -- what they'll do in these types of situations is they will gather in warm water habitats, like the canals and the power plants and the springs here, and they get into these warm water areas where they basically stay there until the water temperatures rise enough for them to be comfortable out in the open water. >> here's the problem, though. they have been hanging out there for about a week now, and munched away at most of the vegetation there. so eventually, they are going to have to wander back out into the frigid water to find more food. for three years now we've been proud to introduce you to cnn heroes, everyday people who
are changing the world. tonight you will meet a trucker turned lawyer in vermont, where 72% of adult homicides are domestic violence related and mostly in rural areas. her name is wynonna ward, and her motto is have justice, will travel. >> when i was growing up on a rural backroad, family violence was an accepted way of life. >> this is my mother, and i'm the baby here. and my father and my brother richard and my sister pauline. >> my father would commonly abuse all of us. he raped me and beat my mother and my other siblings. when the neighbors heard screaming coming from our home, they just turned their heads. for domestic violence victims in rural areas it can be very devastating. they're out there on these backroads with no access to in-town services.
many of them do not have telephones. some of them do not have a driver's license or an automobile. so we go to them. my name is wynona ward. the turning point for me was when a child in my family revealed she had been abused by my father and my brother. i just said, this has to stop. when i graduated from law school, i was 48 years old. >> good morning, my dear. >> i go to people's homes, give them in-home consultation, provide them with free legal services and transportation to and from court hearings. i don't want children to have to go through what i did as a child. i want to see my clients become empowered. i can understand them, and they know that i will be there to protect them. >> wynona ward has helped almost 10,000 victims of domestic violence. she drives 30,000 miles a year doing that. to see the inspiring story of
one woman she's helped or to nominate someone who you think is changing the world, just go to cnn.com/heroes. ahead, and we are truly blown away by this reporter, throwing caution to the wind to bring us the story. [ female announcer ] every year millions of americans face disaster. that's why we created the tide "loads of hope" program, a free laundry service that provides clean clothes to families affected by disasters. [ woman ] it feels so good to be able to know that i've got clean clothes. you don't know how very basic essentials are until you have none. ♪ this is what gives us hope. [ female announcer ] you too can join us by purchasing a tide vintage t at tideloadsofhope.com. ♪ [ female announcer ] get the taste of a home-cooked meal at work with new marie callender's home-style creations.
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got a little swept up, shall we say, in her coverage. >> the wind is blowing 60 to 70 miles per hour out here. but the wind chill, it is just painful. >> oh, yeah, painful. watch that as she goes flying down there, taking that guy with her. that's kaley chalmers from cnn affiliate. she was whipped away by the brutal winds. the station says wind gusts topped 100 miles per hour where she was reporting. hard to stay upright in those conditions. updating quickly our top story. a 6.5 magnitude earthquake off the coast of northern california. some pictures there from a drugstore or some store in town there in eureka, california. you can see a lot of bottles, maybe shampoo bottles or something on the ground. those are coming in to us from our viewers. it appears to have caused some minor damage. some downed power lines and broken gas lines. certainly just a few pictures coming in. we're also told that -- oh